Sentence appeal denied for man who hit and killed a Sask. conservation officer

By CJME News
April 14, 2016 - 11:06pm

A man who pled guilty to driving drunk when he hit and killed a Saskatchewan conservation officer will not get a shorter sentence.

Blaine Taypotat was given a 9 ½ year jail sentence for killing a conservation officer on Highway 11 near Saskatoon in May 2013.

 He filed an appeal of his sentence, asking for a reduction to eight years but it was denied.

Taypotat's lawyer, Josephine de Whytell argued the trial judge misapplied a sentencing factor requiring courts to take into account the upbringing of an indigenous offender, such as Taypotat.

In court documents, de Whytell wrote that Taypotat was brought up in an environment “fraught with alcohol-induced violence” and that alcohol became his coping mechanism.

De Whytell said Taypotat, 38, was abused at a residential school where he spent eight years and that the collision happened shortly after he had received compensation. He was also heading to the funeral for a cousin who had been murdered.

The Crown filed arguments that Taypotat sped past the roadblock and drove down the middle of the two-lane highway while being pursued by police. That's when he struck and killed 23-year-old Justin Knackstedt.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeals dismissed the case on Thursday, ruling that the trial judge made no errors.

with files from Canadian Press

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